How many people actually read the Terms & Conditions before clicking “Accept”? I know I don’t. I also know my family and friends don’t.
The truth is that the majority of people are too lazy to sift through legal talk, especially when it’s stopping them from using a program immediately.
Take iTunes as an example. A large percent of music listeners use iTunes to purchase and store the music they’re interested in. But did you know that in clicking “Agree” to the iTunes Terms and Conditions you confirm with the Apple Corporation that you do not own any of the music you buy?
Let’s think about that for a second – we are paying money to listen to our favorite music until we die. Sounds okay, right?
Well, the agreement you consented to says that when you die, the music you purchased basically vanishes. Other people can still buy it, it still exists – but it doesn’t belong to you anymore.
If we rewind a few years back, before iTunes dominated the music market, it is evident that the most popular format for music was a CD. Preceding the CD was the cassette tape, and preceding the cassette tape was the vinyl record.
Let’s pretend your father is a huge music fan. Throughout his entire life he spends thousands of dollars on records. Maybe when he dies, he wants to leave his impressive, expensive record collection to you, his child. Of course he can do that! When he dies, his records are legally yours, and you’re free to stock your shelves with an intimate reminder of your father’s passion.
Let’s return to present times, with iTunes. Let’s say you’ve spent the past seven years buying your favorite songs. Songs that have helped you through tough situations and songs that remind you of a great time with your friends. After a while, you’ve accumulated a few thousand songs that really define you. How does it feel to know that when you’re gone that music collection disappears?
All of the money you’ve spent, all of the associated memories are now gone. Legally, your music does not belong to you. Nor does it belong to your children. You simply license songs until you die. How many of you realized THAT when you clicked “Accept”?